By John Vibes / Truth Theory
The Baltimore harbor is by far the most popular tourist destinations in the city, but over the years, conditions in the water began to deteriorate. Luckily, a Maryland resident invented a device that has been helping to remove millions of pounds of trash and debris from the harbor.
The device is a solar-powered water wheel that is connected to a conveyor belt. The wheel works by lifting trash and debris out of the water using a ‘debris raking system’, which transfers the collected items onto a conveyor belt and then into a large dumpster. Although the device is powered by the water that flows through it, it is also hooked up to a solar generator so it requires no outside source of energy.
The Trash Wheel was developed by a small team of scientists led by a researcher named John Kellett. The team was developing the technology since 2008, and has been through a long process of trial and error to make sure that everything was correct.
The first wheel, which was designed to look like an actual mill house, spent three years in trials, before being removed in 2011 because it could not keep up with the amount of trash that was in the water. The new Wheel was installed in 2014, and has since made a massive difference in the condition of the harbor.
Get a trash eye’s view of what it is like to get eaten by me. Hopefully this plastic bag is one of the last I’ll have to eat! pic.twitter.com/xuom92llIB
— Mr. Trash Wheel (@MrTrashWheel) August 12, 2019
The device was so effective that Kellett was commissioned to add another trash wheel to the harbor in 2016, then another in 2018. The new designs also have eyes on them, and have been given nicknames and personalities like “Mr. Trash Wheel.”
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The original trash wheel device has cleaned the harbor of 1,094,402 Styrofoam containers, 953,681 plastic bottles, 676,016 plastic bags, 150 miles of cigarette butts, 4,078 sports balls, a guitar, 1 keg, and a ball python.
Kellett hopes to install similar trash wheels in other cities all over the world. His most immediate plans are in California, New York, and Hawaii.